Date of birth: 22/07/2002
Heritage number: 1112
Previous club: Widnes Vikings (loan)
Wigan Debut: vs Wakefield Trinity (A), hooker (sub), lost 14-16 at Mobile Rocket Stadium, 24/06/21
Challenge Cup: 2022
A product of Wigan’s Academy system, Brad O’Neill has become a regular name on the Warriors teamsheet, inspiring Wigan to Challenge Cup victory at Hooker in 2022.
- O’Neill was born in Leigh on 22nd July 2002.
- He has been playing Rugby League since the age of five after joining Widnes-based amateur club Halton Farnworth Hornets ARLFC.
- In September 2017, O’Neill signed for Wigan’s Scholarship system and played two seasons for the Under-16s team.
- Whilst playing for Wigan’s Scholarship side, he gained international youth experience, representing England Youth four times. In one of those games, O’Neill broke two ribs and suffered a liver laceration injury.
- The 18-year-old is predominantly a hooker but can also play in the loose forward position.
- He progressed into Wigan’s Academy in 2019 and also represented Lancashire Academy twice. In July that year though, he suffered an ACL injury in a game against the City of Hull Academy, which ruled him out until 2020 – a year which saw all Academy games suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Due to injury and the pandemic, O’Neill made just eight appearances for Wigan’s Under-19s team.
- In March 2021, he played for the first time in over 20 months – gaining first team experience for the Warriors, as he featured in the pre-season friendly against Salford Red Devils.
- In April 2021, O’Neill signed for Widnes Vikings on a four-week loan deal. His spell with the Betfred Championship club was extended and he played nine games and scored two tries in his time there. He also made an average of 42 tackles per game.
- O’Neill was recalled from his loan and went on to feature in 8 games for the Warriors in 2021.
- In 2022, O’Neill secured his first Challenge Cup win against the Huddersfield Giants at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, coming into the squad a few weeks prior in place of Sam Powell.
- O’Neill made 13 appearances in 2022, and was influential in Wigan’s Challenge Cup run as starting hooker in both the Semi Final and Final.